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Atari's Landfill Adventures, I now have the proof it's true.

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Right that's it, I never gonna mention 'the crash' of 84 ever again.

 

PEACE

 

What's really funny is Xmas of 84 is when I got my first Atari..lol..

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On subject of interviews...

 

I put a lot out in 2014, far more than i'd ever initally planned, it's been great 'fun', but very time consuming and i'd already written off at least 7 interviews from people i'd established contact with/sent questions to, as for 1 reason or another, it was clear the questions were'nt going to come back in with answers and there's only so many 'reminder' emails you want to send.

 

On that note, this morning has seen me send another 8 emails to people i contacted in 2014/put questions to.In some cases i'd not heard anything back from in ages, in others it was clear that to try and recal accurate information on subject material some 20 years plus, past just simply is'nt realistic, others i simply looked at formats i'd already covered and thought...you know i kinda don't need yet another Platform Y interview....

 

 

Espically given so far in 2015, i've already sent questions to 2 of 3 new sources of information, will be doing the 3rd 'interview' questions this afternoon-all being well.

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I guess what i'm trying to say is this:2014, interviews wise has been a fantastic learning curve for myself, never thought i'd get even 40% of the folks i did interview, hopefully people have enjoyed the ones that have gone up online and will do those appearing in Classic Console magazine and the other 2 magazines planned for 2015.If nothing else sites like GTW/Unseen64 have 'benifited' from what i've managed to uncover, re:various lost games and i plan to continue, full steam ahead in 2015..but, i'm being far more realistic...

 

It's now more and more unlikely that the key lost A8/Jaguar/7800 info i'd of liked to have found, is unlikely to surface, it's a loss, but when i read an interview done in 2014 done with say Jez San where his memory is so poor on certain subjects, he cannot recal what he told a magazine back in 1998 etc, you have to accept fact that to many you approach, too many years will have passed to be able to retain the info.your after.

 

So, i move on, try new people, new formats etc.

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Speaking of deep and thorough research, since most of the people you are interviewing are probably humans with a limited lifespan, is it possible for you to find out if any of them have any old paperwork that shows when Atari 2600 games were shipped out (month/year) before the info is lost forever? I'd also love paperwork from the retail end. Retailers had to keep some kind of record of the games that came in.

 

Documentation is a wonderful thing; alas businesses rarely keep it. This is even more so with the small, short-lived companies that populated the video game industry in the 1980s.

 

Many years ago, I was hoping to write an MA thesis about a local business that was about 125 years old. The then current owners took over in the early-1970s, and they literally burned a storage building full of old corporate records as they were of no value. :_( Oral history was of utterly no use to me, as I was primarily interested in the time period 1870-1930.

 

I reviewed newspaper and the trade press coverage, and the few bits and sods of company records that survived, but the comprehensive history of this company will never be written.

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eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2815544089171?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=281554408917&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

E.T.'s on german ebay going up, 4 bids and counting

 

This listing (281554408917) has been removed, or this item is not available.

    • Please check that you've entered the correct item number
    • Listings that have ended 90 or more days ago will not be available for viewing.

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Wow, ok it showed the cart ET and showed a picture from the dig, and offered a cart only, with 4 bids up to Euro 55.

Edited by high voltage

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In case it was not already posted here, here's an interesting interview with James Heller:

http://www.2600connection.com/interviews/james_heller/interview_james_heller.html

 

8)

There's a larger article based on a more inclusive interview with Jim (with more pics as well) in the next issue of RETRO magazine as well. Covers the events of the destruction and burials up through dig, as well as sidebars on the archaeological team and more. I'd been sitting on all of it since June at the request of the producers of the documentary, who wanted to wait until the documentary was out until the info was released.

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Speaking of deep and thorough research, since most of the people you are interviewing are probably humans with a limited lifespan, is it possible for you to find out if any of them have any old paperwork that shows when Atari 2600 games were shipped out (month/year) before the info is lost forever? I'd also love paperwork from the retail end. Retailers had to keep some kind of record of the games that came in.

One of the first things we do when interviewing is ask people if they kept any paperwork, etc. and would be willing to donate it or allow us to borrow it to make copies. For some people it was just another job and they kept a bit of paraphernalia as a memento. For others they kept boxes full of documentation and paperwork. Most of the ex-management we've interviewed fall in the former category. An example of someone who falls in the latter would be Ed Logg, who still has all his engineering log books (the daily diaries programmers and engineers kept to document their projects).

 

The closest so far we've found in large lists of release dates are the ROM release lists from Jan Boehm that were recovered from the mainframe tapes. Those are the dates that ROMs had been completed and released for manufacturing. We've had to verify a lot of these though, as some are dates later than known release dates which means they were later revisions of a ROM and just weren't noted as such.

 

Keep in mind, release dates weren't a thing back then. It's more when did it first start shipping to retailers and when did they start putting them out for sale, which can be tracked by other means (appearance in newspaper ads for a store as being for sale). Pac-Man was the first attempt at a co-ordinated release that I'm aware of and it didn't quite work out, as some retailers started selling it in early March instead of National Pac-Man day.

 

As far as retailers, that sort of paperwork is long long gone. It just wasn't important to keep past a certain date. And certainly no importance over the volumes of other merchandise at the time and that has come in since. It was just another product out of many. I could go to a Sears or JC Penny's and say find large figures on overall sales that year, etc. But sales on specific merchandise would have been tossed ages ago, especially for a specific item being sold 30-some years ago. The exception might be people who ran mom-and-pop type operations and might have a few boxes of their old paperwork in the garage or basement.

Edited by Retro Rogue
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The exception might be people who ran mom-and-pop type operations and might have a few boxes of their old paperwork in the garage or basement.

I hope that's true and maybe there are some VCS game loving Aspergery guys who worked at a department store or owned a mom-and-pop type operation who kept everything or at least wrote it down.

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Yeah - Andrei81 seems like a total piece of crap...Questioning all the hard work of the book? (I was part of the excavation)---Just looking at his posts--Does he work? Does he have a life? ANy positive things to say? I'll be sure to any of his stupid questions...What a douche--sorry (truth)

Edited by timjenson1965
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Yeah - Andrei81 seems like a total piece of crap...Questioning all the hard work of the book? (I was part of the excavation)---Just looking at his posts--Does he work? Does he have a life? ANy positive things to say? I'll be sure to any of his stupid questions...What a douche--sorry (truth)

 

So true. Reading his annoying comments is a pain in the ass.

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Have I missed anything exciting in the past year and an half?

Yes you did. A bunch of guys followed closely behind by a film crew went out to New Mexico with some big ass shovels and struck gold. Some of it got auctioned off on eBay. You should have been there. Around the same time period, Angry Video Game Nerd released his own feature length movie lampooning the ET burial.

 

Feel free to skim through the past 2143 posts and get cozy with some beer and a laptop (or your favorite tablet browser), because you'll be here for a while...

Edited by stardust4ever

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Just kidding. I've followed the dig and documentary like everyone else. It's great it finally happened. This may be discussed already, but I haven't read everything recently here. There is a great story in this issue of Retro that has the facts from the guy that arranged the burial that worked for Atari.

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I just finished watching "Game Over" on Netflix streaming. What a great ride! The summary at the end of the film really connected with me - that for many people, Atari was their introduction to computers and the new technologies that surround us today in our everyday lives. That is certainly true for me. As soon as I finish making this post, I'm going to pay my gas and electric bill online, then update my shopping list and forward it to my smart phone before making a quick trip to the grocery store!

 

I'm also glad to see HSW getting the recognition and accolades he so richly deserves from peers and industry professionals who "get it", and see beyond the myth of the "worst Atari game ever made".

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So I just saw Game Over last night. Loved it! I haven't been on the forums much in the last year and a half so I had no idea what happened in Alamagordo last year. I was literally on the edge of my seat towards the end. It was really something else when they found carts. And not just E.T. but others as well. So yeah, great movie and it left me feeling really good.

Edited by opeygon
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It's not like they found exclusively E.T. carts but everything else in the catalog. I'm willing to bet that E.T. was not the most plentiful item they found.

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It's not like they found exclusively E.T. carts but everything else in the catalog. I'm willing to bet that E.T. was not the most plentiful item they found.

 

You're absolutely correct. They mention that E.T. carts made up less than 10% of the carts they found and that many of the titles buried there were top-sellers.

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You're absolutely correct. They mention that E.T. carts made up less than 10% of the carts they found and that many of the titles buried there were top-sellers.

I can't recall offhand which game was most plentiful but there is an itemized list of the thousand or so carts and what they were. Bear in mind also that they did not bust the cement caps where the meat and potatoes of the haul was buried in later days. The carts they dug up may or may not be an accurate representation of what's under the caps. There were no consoles, accessories, or other items from the El Paso plant found, which would likely have been buried there also. The dig event was bittersweet in a way, because they prooved the burial existed, but only barely scraped the surface. We still don't know what else was buried, or how much, and probably never will...

Edited by stardust4ever

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